How to Start a Neon Sign Business: A Complete Guide to Building Your Own Empire

Are you looking to start your own business? Have you ever thought about owning a neon sign company? Starting a neon sign business can be a fulfilling and profitable venture. However, it requires a lot of effort and dedication, but the result is worth it. If you have a passion for art and design and are interested in working with your hands, starting a neon sign business could be a great choice for you.

Neon signs are powerful advertising tools that grab people’s attention and create a lasting impression. Businesses, restaurants, and shops can benefit greatly from having a custom-made neon sign. With the right combination of creativity, craftsmanship, and innovation, you could offer unique products that stand out from the crowd. A neon sign business can provide you with a flexible and exciting opportunity to express your creativity and make a name for yourself in the industry.

Some of the challenges ahead may include learning how to bend glass tubes, handle electrical wiring, and managing your time effectively. But, the reward of running a successful neon sign business is well worth the effort. If you’re ready to start this exciting new venture, we have some valuable insights and advice to help you succeed. From branding and marketing to acquiring the right tools, we’ll guide you through the key steps to building a profitable neon sign business. Let’s dive into this exciting journey together!

Market research for neon sign business

Before starting a neon sign business, it’s important to conduct thorough market research to ensure you have a good understanding of the industry and the potential market for your products. Here are some key things to consider when conducting market research:

  • Industry size and growth: Research the size of the neon sign industry and its projected growth over the next few years. This will give you an idea of the potential market size and whether or not it’s a growing industry.
  • Target market: Identify your target market, including demographics, psychographics, and behaviors. This will help you tailor your products and marketing efforts to better appeal to your target customers.
  • Competition: Research your competitors, including their products, pricing, marketing efforts, and customer reviews. This will help you identify gaps in the market and develop a unique selling proposition.

By conducting thorough market research, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions about your neon sign business and increase your chances of success.

Creating a Business Plan for Neon Sign Business

Starting a neon sign business can be an exciting and fulfilling venture, but it’s important to have a well-designed business plan before jumping in. Here are some key elements to consider when crafting your business plan:

  • Executive Summary: Provide an overview of your business plan, including your mission statement, target market, and financial projections.
  • Market Analysis: Research your industry and competition to determine the potential demand for your products and services and identify ways to differentiate your neon sign business from others.
  • Products and Services: Describe your neon sign offerings in detail, including pricing, delivery, and installation.
  • Marketing and Sales Strategies: Outline your marketing and sales goals, including your advertising budget, target market, and sales channels.
  • Operations Plan: Detail your daily operations, including your production process, staff requirements, and equipment needs.
  • Financial Plan: Create a detailed budget and provide projections for your revenue, expenses, and profits. This section should also include a funding plan if you need to secure financing.

Your business plan should be a living document that you continually review and update as your business grows and evolves. A well-written business plan can serve as a roadmap for your neon sign business, guiding your decisions and providing a framework for success.

Legal requirements and regulations for starting a neon sign business

Starting a neon sign business requires complying with various legal requirements and regulations. These requirements not only apply to the neon sign industry but also to all types of businesses. Here are three key legal requirements and regulations you need to consider when starting a neon sign business:

  • Business registration: You must register your neon sign business with the appropriate state, county, or city agency. This registration will require you to provide certain information, such as business location, owner’s name, and type of business entity.
  • Licensing and permits: In most states, neon sign businesses must obtain a license or permit before operating. The requirements for licensing and permits vary based on state and local regulations. Some states require a specialty contractor’s license, while others require a sign contractor’s license. City and county permits may also be required.
  • Safety and environmental regulations: Neon sign businesses must adhere to safety guidelines and environmental regulations. These guidelines address issues such as safe handling and disposal of neon tubes, safe electrical installation practices, and proper storage and use of chemicals.

Not complying with these legal requirements and regulations can result in fines, legal action, and damage to your business’s reputation. It’s essential to research, understand, and comply with all legal requirements and regulations before starting your neon sign business.

Choosing a Location for the Neon Sign Business

Starting a neon sign business requires careful planning and one crucial aspect you should consider is the location of your business. The success of your business can depend on where you set it up, so it is imperative to put significant thought on the location. Here are some factors you should consider when choosing a location for the neon sign business.

  • Visibility – One of the most important factors to consider when looking for a location for your neon sign business is visibility. You want to choose a location that is easily visible to potential customers. A busy street or an area with high traffic flow would be ideal.
  • Accessibility – You need to ensure that the location is easily accessible for your clients, especially if you’re considering a retail storefront. Customers need to be able to park their vehicles without difficulty or have easy access via public transportation.
  • Demographics – You want to look for a location that is within a demographic that will benefit your neon sign business. Look for a location in an area that has a high number of small businesses or a vibrant art district where your services will be needed.

Once you’ve found a potential location, you need to do your due diligence before settling. Consider the following:

  • Competition – You want to look at the competition levels in the area. If there are already too many signage companies in the area, it may be challenging to make your business stand out.
  • Rent – The cost of rent should be within your budget without breaking the bank.
  • Lease agreement – You should review the lease terms and conditions to fully understand what the property owner requires of you. Info on leasehold improvements and rent increases should be outlined in the agreement.

Finally, it is essential to remember that the location of your business can impact your reputation. Make sure that the location is in compliance with local zoning and permit laws. A good location can help you attract customers, and a bad one can turn away potential business.


Choosing a location for your neon sign business may seem like a daunting task, but it can play an essential role in the success of your business. By considering visibility, accessibility, demographics, competition, rent, and lease agreements, you’ll ensure that your business location is the ideal choice. Remember to make location decisions based on your target demographic and the services you offer. By finding the perfect location, you can establish your neon sign business and start making profits.

Types of Neon Signs and Designing Process

Starting a neon sign business can be an exciting venture, but it is important to understand the different types of neon signs available in the market to cater to various customer needs. A successful signage business owner should also have a comprehensive understanding of the designing process involved. Here are the different types of neon signs and designing processes that you should know:

1. Custom Neon Signs

Custom neon signs are designed according to the customer’s specifications. They are unique and attention-grabbing, making them a great tool for promoting brands or businesses. These signs can be made in any font and color and can display any artwork or messaging. To create a custom neon sign, you need to have knowledge in designing and handling glass tubing, welding, and electrical work.

2. LED Neon Signs

LED neon signs are a modern, energy-efficient alternative to traditional neon lights. They use LED technology to mimic the appearance of neon tubing. These signs are flexible, making them easy to install, handle, and transport. Compared to traditional neon lights, LED neon signs require less maintenance and consume very little power.

3. Open Neon Signs

Open neon signs are simple, yet effective when it comes to attracting customers to a business. They typically display the word “open” in bright neon colors. These signs are available in both traditional and LED neon options.

4. Neon Art

Neon art is a unique form of artistic expression that uses neon tubing as the primary medium. These pieces can be created to vary in shape, size, and color to suit an individual’s taste. Neon art is often seen in galleries, public art installations, and private collections.

5. Designing Process

The process of designing a neon sign starts with sketching ideas on paper. It’s essential to have a clear idea of the sign’s purpose, size, and design elements. Once the design is final, the layout is transferred onto tin patterns that are cut into sections that will act as a guide for the placement of the glass tubing. The glass tubing is then bent and shaped by hand using heat to create the correct shape. Finally, the tubing is filled with neon gas to create the desired lighting effect.


Understanding the different types of neon signs and designing processes is crucial for anyone looking to start a neon sign business. By having a range of options, you can cater to various customer needs and offer unique products. Custom neon signs, LED neon signs, open neon signs, and neon art are all viable options for a neon sign business. As for the designing process, it requires creativity, attention to detail, and knowledge in handling glass tubing, welding, and electrical work.

Budgeting and Financing for the Neon Sign Business

Starting a neon sign business requires careful budgeting and financing to ensure its success. Here are some essential tips to help you get started:

  • Create a detailed business plan that outlines your goals, target market, marketing strategies, and financial projections. This will help you determine the amount of money you need to start and operate your business.
  • Estimate your startup costs, including equipment, supplies, rent, utilities, and employees’ wages. Be sure to add a buffer of at least 10% to cover unexpected expenses.
  • Determine how much money you need to keep your business running for at least six months without generating profit. This will give you enough time to establish your customer base and generate revenue without worrying about paying bills and expenses.

Once you have a good understanding of your financial needs, it’s time to explore your financing options:

  • Savings and personal assets: Use your savings, personal assets, or borrow from friends and family to bootstrap your business.
  • Small business loans: Apply for a small business loan from a bank, credit union, or online lender. Be prepared to show your business plan, financial projections, and collateral to secure the loan.
  • Crowdfunding: Launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise money from a community of supporters who believe in your business idea.

It’s important to note that obtaining financing for a new business can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a proven track record of success. To increase your chances of approval, be prepared to show your lenders or investors that you have a solid business plan, market research, and financial projections that demonstrate the potential growth and profitability of your business.

Financing Option Pros Cons
Personal assets and savings No interest rates or debt obligations Risk of losing personal assets; limited funds
Small business loans Access to larger funds; predictable repayment schedule Requires collateral; interest rates and fees
Crowdfunding No debt obligations; potential for exposure and networking May not reach the fundraising goal; time-consuming to manage

By carefully planning your budget and exploring different financing options, you can minimize your risks and maximize your chances of success in the neon sign business.

Sourcing and Purchasing Neon Sign Supplies

Starting a neon sign business requires sourcing and purchasing high-quality supplies to create durable and vibrant neon signs. It is crucial to find a reliable supplier that can provide the materials you need at competitive prices. Below are some tips on how to source and purchase neon sign supplies.

  • Research suppliers: Start by conducting thorough research to find suppliers that specialize in neon sign supplies. Look for suppliers with a proven track record of providing high-quality materials and excellent customer service.
  • Compare prices: Compare prices from different suppliers to ensure that you get the best value for your money. However, do not compromise on quality for the sake of price.
  • Bulk buying: Buying neon sign supplies in bulk can help you save money, especially if you plan to produce a high volume of neon signs. However, be sure to consider storage space and the shelf life of the supplies before making a purchase.

Additionally, it is essential to determine the type of neon sign supplies you need, such as neon tubes, transformers, electrodes, and gas. Neon tubes come in different sizes and shapes, depending on the design of the sign. Transformers, also known as power supplies, convert the power from the electrical outlet to the proper voltage for the neon tube. Electrodes, which are located at each end of the neon tube, are crucial in igniting and maintaining the neon gas. Gas, usually neon or argon, is what gives the sign its vibrant color.

Once you have identified the supplies you need, consider purchasing a neon sign kit. These kits include everything you need to get started, including a transformer, electrodes, tubing, gas, and other necessary components. Neon sign kits are perfect for beginners who may not have experience purchasing neon sign supplies.

Commonly used neon sign supplies Description
Neon tubes Glass tubes filled with neon or argon gas that create vibrant colors when electrified
Transformers Converts power from electrical outlet to proper voltage for neon tube
Electrodes Located at the end of neon tube, ignites and maintains the neon gas
Gas Neon or argon gas used to create vibrant colors in neon tubes

In conclusion, sourcing and purchasing neon sign supplies can significantly impact the quality of the final product. Take the time to research and compare suppliers, consider purchasing in bulk, and identify the specific supplies you need. By following these tips, you can ensure that you have the necessary supplies to create high-quality neon signs with vibrant colors that last for years.

Hiring and Training Employees for the Neon Sign Business

Starting a neon sign business requires not only expertise in creating eye-catching designs and producing quality neon signage, but also having a reliable team of employees to assist with various tasks. Below are some tips on how to hire and train employees for your neon sign business.

  • Clearly define job positions and responsibilities – Before starting the hiring process, it is important to know what positions you need to fill and what specific tasks each position entails. Clarify the roles and responsibilities for each position so that potential employees know exactly what they are applying for.
  • Create a job posting and utilize various platforms – To attract the best candidates for your business, write a detailed and enticing job posting that highlights the qualities and skills you are looking for. You can post job listings on online job boards, social media platforms, and even physical flyers in your store or local community centers.
  • Conduct interviews – Once you have received applications and resumes, conduct interviews to determine which candidates are the best fit for your business. Prepare relevant questions that will assess a candidate’s work experience, skills, and personality. Pay attention to their communication skills, willingness to learn, and their passion for the neon sign industry.

After the hiring process, it is important to focus on adequately training your new employees:

  • Provide hands-on training – In addition to a formal training program, hands-on training is vital for your employees to learn how to create and install neon signs properly. This will also give them an opportunity to learn from you and other experienced team members.
  • Implement safety training – Neon sign manufacturing involves working with fragile and dangerous materials. Make sure safety protocols and guidelines are established and enforced to prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace.
  • Offer ongoing education – Encourage your employees to continue learning and growing their skills by offering additional training or providing educational resources such as books, videos, and classes. This will not only benefit your business by having skilled and knowledgeable employees, but it will also benefit your employees by giving them opportunities to advance within the company or in their careers.

Ultimately, hiring and training the right employees is essential to the success of your neon sign business. By following these tips, you can build a capable and dependable team that will help your business grow and thrive.

Marketing Strategies for the Neon Sign Business

Marketing is crucial to any neon sign business’s success. It is what puts your business out there and attracts customers. Having a great product or service is not enough, especially if potential customers do not know you exist. Therefore, you need to have clear and effective marketing strategies in place.

  • Define your target audience: Who are your potential customers? What types of businesses or individuals are most likely to buy neon signs? Understanding your target audience will help you design a marketing campaign that resonates with them.
  • Create a strong brand: A strong brand is essential in marketing your neon sign business. It sets you apart from competitors and communicates what you stand for. Work on creating a memorable brand that potential customers can easily identify.
  • Develop a website: In today’s digital age, having a website is critical. It serves as a virtual storefront where potential customers can learn more about your neon sign business and the products you offer. Be sure to optimize your website for search engines and make it mobile-friendly.

Use social media to your advantage: Social media is a powerful tool in marketing your business. It allows you to reach a wider audience and engage with potential customers. Set up accounts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Post regular updates, share photos of your work, and interact with your followers.

Create valuable content: Content marketing is a great way to build brand awareness and attract potential customers. Create informative blog posts, YouTube videos, or infographics related to neon signs that provide value to your target audience.

Networking: Attend trade shows, conventions, and other events where you can meet potential customers and business partners. Bring samples of your work and be ready to answer any questions they may have about your neon sign business.

Marketing Strategies Pros Cons
Social Media Wide audience reach and engagement Time-consuming
Content Marketing Builds brand awareness and attracts potential customers Requires time to create quality content and generate results
Networking Opportunity to meet potential customers and business partners May require additional expenses and time commitment

By implementing these marketing strategies, you can effectively promote your neon sign business and attract potential customers. Remember to test and re-adjust your strategies based on what works and what doesn’t. Consistency and persistence are key to achieving lasting success.

Developing relationships with clients and maintaining customer satisfaction.

In any business, building strong relationships with clients is important to ensure ongoing success. This is especially crucial in the neon sign business, where the personalized and unique nature of each sign means that clients are likely to return if they are satisfied with the product and service they receive. Customer satisfaction is key to building a strong reputation, which can lead to new clients through word-of-mouth recommendations.

  • Get to know your clients: Take the time to get to know your clients and understand what they are looking for in their neon sign. Ask questions about their preferences and don’t be afraid to make suggestions if it will enhance the final product. This will ensure that each sign is tailored to the individual client’s needs and preferences.
  • Communicate regularly: Keep the lines of communication open with your clients throughout the production process. Provide updates on the progress of their sign and be transparent about any challenges or delays. This will help to manage their expectations and ensure they are satisfied with the final product.
  • Follow up: Once a neon sign has been delivered, follow up with your client to ensure they are happy with their purchase. This is an opportunity to address any issues they may have and to strengthen the relationship for future business.

Another important aspect of maintaining customer satisfaction is ensuring the quality of your neon signs. Quality should be a top priority, as a subpar product can lead to negative reviews and damage your reputation in the market.

One way to ensure quality is to work with reputable suppliers for your materials. Always source high-quality neon tubes and parts, and use the appropriate tools and techniques to create your signs. In addition, make sure that each sign is properly packaged and delivered to prevent any damage during transport.

Key Points:
– Build strong relationships with clients
– Communicate regularly throughout the production process
– Ensure quality of neon signs
– Source high-quality materials
– Properly package and deliver each sign

Overall, building strong relationships with clients and maintaining customer satisfaction are key to success in the neon sign business. By taking the time to understand your clients’ needs and preferences, communicating regularly, following up, and ensuring quality, you can create a reputation for excellence that will keep clients coming back for more.

FAQs about Starting a Neon Sign Business

1. Do I need any special skills to start a neon sign business?

No, you do not need any special skills to start a neon sign business. You can learn everything you need to know by taking a class or watching online tutorials.

2. How much money do I need to start a neon sign business?

The amount of money you need to start a neon sign business varies depending on the size and complexity of your business, but it can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

3. Do I need a storefront to start a neon sign business?

No, you do not need a storefront to start a neon sign business. You can work from home or rent a space if necessary.

4. How do I choose what type of neon sign to make?

To choose what type of neon sign to make, you should research what types of signs are in demand in your area and what your competitors are offering. You can also consider specializing in a particular type of sign, such as custom signs or retro signs.

5. How do I market my neon sign business?

To market your neon sign business, you can create a website, use social media, attend trade shows, and network with other businesses in your area.

6. What equipment do I need to start a neon sign business?

To start a neon sign business, you will need a glass blowing torch, a kiln, hand tools, lead and glass tubing, electrodes, and gases such as neon and argon.

7. How do I make sure my neon signs are safe and up to code?

To ensure that your neon signs are safe and up to code, you should consult with a licensed electrician and follow local regulations for installing and maintaining signage.

Closing Thoughts

Starting a neon sign business can be a fun and exciting venture, but it takes hard work and dedication to get it off the ground. By following these FAQs and doing your research, you can set yourself up for success. Thank you for reading, and be sure to check back for more tips and tricks on starting your own business!